I decided I'd wait to write about my experience making the Tomboy Cake until I posted the round-up for March. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I'm feeling a little bashful after seeing the beautiful cakes made by everyone else who participated in this challenge! Ladies - bravo!
I have to be mindful of the fact that I started this challenge to challenge myself in the baking department, fully knowing I might not have the prettiest cake or that it might not turn out every time. My goal is to come out on the other end of this book as a more accomplished baker. I was definitely quite proud of my Tomboy when I made it, however, and even more proud when I tasted it!
I am thrilled that I'm in such fine company and among such wonderful bakers for this first month's challenge - thank you so much for participating! Readers and visitors, before you read on, please go visit their posts and prepare to swoon over their stunning recreations. Below are links to their posts, as well as a preview of what you'll find there.
And now it's my turn!
When I first set about to make this cake - which was actually early in January - it was right around the same time that a pastry chef I was working with befriended me. Sue Morrison, of Sue Morrison Baking Arts
(who will have a gorgeous, new website any day now - check back soon!) has been an awesome person to get to know, both as a friend and as a professional. We had thrown around the idea of having baking dates from time to time, because, being equal parts baker and teacher, Sue could help me learn more about certain aspects of pastry, or just baking in general. When I told her I was having the jitters about making my first Miette, she suggested she come over to bake alongside me and teach me a trick or two. That was an offer I simply could not refuse! It's not every day you get pick the brain of a pastry genius in your very own kitchen!
|Buttercream flavoured and coloured with Pomegranate juice.|
Sue showed me how to make roses from modelling chocolate, and aren't they just the loveliest? My first try is below and it was much easier to do than I expected! Check out this About.com article
on how to make roses like these.
Something that happens when Sue and I get together (and should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me) is... wetalk! We both get so excited talking about food, that before we know it, several hours have passed. When Sue came over that Friday, it was certainly no exception. As a result, I was left to my own devices for the part I feared most - decorating the cake - by the time Sue had to leave.
Since we only used one, flower-shaped, 9-inch cake pan, we put the leftover batter into a ramekin and made the Tomboy's mini-me, which Sue took home to her family.
|My one, 9" cake sliced in half.|
Now, let me tell you something about this cake: it is phenomenal. Luscious chocolate cake (the richest, moistest, most decadent you'll ever taste) with beautiful, pink buttercream to contrast (in both colour and flavour), this cake was one of the tastiest things ever to come out of our kitchen.
The recipe seemed over-complicated at times, as you'll see some of the other bloggers note, but many of the extra efforts were worth it once you found your own path through the recipe. I was only brave enough to cut my cake into two pieces. As a novice cake-baker, I'll probably never use those flower-shaped pans again! The cake was challenging enough, never mind trying to decorate it with all those curves. It wound up looking pretty uneven on the outside, but absolutely gorgeous on the inside.
But isn't it the inside that counts? After all?
Want to bake along with us? April's challenge is: TARTS.
Rather than choosing one specific recipe for next month, how about you
choose which of the 7 Miette tarts you'd like to make? It adds an element of surprise! The Tarts section runs from pages 104 to 121 in the book.
Here are the rules for the next round of Monthly Miettes:
1) Buy Miette.
It will be the prettiest, daintiest addition to your kitchen/bookshelf.
2) Bake the challenge of the month and post about it on your blog/website by the 25th. Our challenge for April is TARTS - you choose which one - due April 25th, 2012.
3) Eat a slice of your tart for breakfast (as often or as seldom as you wish, but at least once!), photograph it, and enjoy this little morning ritual to the fullest.
4) Link back to the original post
please and thanks! (And if you're tweeting about it, use #monthlymiettes.)
Leave me a comment below if you would like to participate and/or if your post is up!